Pro-Life Groups Respond to Partial-Birth Abortion Lawsuits

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 2, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Respond to Partial-Birth Abortion Lawsuits

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 2, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Abortion advocates launched the first strike on Friday in what will be a long and ongoing legal battle over the ban on partial-birth abortions. However, pro-life groups are up to the task of helping the Bush administration defend the pro-life law.

President Bush will sign the partial-birth abortion ban on Wednesday afternoon. Yet, pro-abortion groups hope the pre-filing of their lawsuits will prompt a judge to issue an immediate injunction.

Then the war in the courts begins.

"Friday’s action by the pro-abortion lobby comes as no surprise because this is what they always do," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "Since an overwhelming majority of Americans want partial-birth abortion banned, abortion supporters could not get their way in Congress. As a result they are now turning to the courts, hoping to find an activist judge who will sanction infanticide."

Perkins understands what’s at stake in the battle to ban the gruesome abortion procedure. He sponsored a similar pro-life law while serving as a state representative in the Louisiana legislature.

"Attorney General John Ashcroft must be ready and willing to put forth whatever resources are necessary to defend this Constitutional law," Perkins said.

Though Ashcroft will be charged with the duty of defending the law, pro-life groups will write numerous amicus briefs — each hoping to persuade the court that the ban is reasonable and a health exception is unnecessary.

"We will work aggressively to see that this ban clears the legal challenges and survives the constitutional attacks," said Jay Sekulow, lead attorney for the American Center for Law and Justice. "We’re poised to defend this critical measure as it makes its way through our judicial system — a challenge that will ultimately end up before the Supreme Court."

Jim Bopp, legal counsel for the National Right to Life Committee told that his group would be involved and that the pro-abortion cases "present a real challenge to the Supreme Court."

"Is the ‘right to abortion’ so extreme that it allows killing a baby almost completely outside the mother’s body," Bopp asked. "If the Plaintiffs’ are successful, it means that Roe v. Wade really does mean partial birth abortions."

FRC’s Perkins indicated his organization will also jump in the legal battle. "At the appropriate time, we will offer a legal response to the myth-filled lawsuits filed by the pro-abortion lobby."